The Department of Justice said on Thursday that it is lodging an appeal against this month's acquittal of Apple Daily founder Jimmy Lai who had been accused of criminal intimidation over comments he made to a reporter from a rival newspaper.
In response to media enquiries, the department confirmed the move, but said it could not comment further because the legal proceedings were ongoing.
On September 3, a West Kowloon magistrate found Lai not guilty of intimidating an Oriental Daily reporter at the June 4 vigil at Victoria Park in 2017.
The reporter, who had been following Lai, claimed to have been scared by the tycoon telling him he would find someone to "mess him up".
But the magistrate said the reporter had not been an honest or reliable witness, his testimony was not believable, and the prosecution had not been able to prove that Lai's comments were aimed at causing alarm.
Lai is also being prosecuted over a June 4 vigil this year, one of more than two dozen pro-democracy activists accused of organising, inciting others to join, or taking part themselves in an unauthorised assembly.
Police had banned people from gathering this year to remember the victims of the 1989 crackdown, citing the coronavirus pandemic. Thousands turned up for a vigil nevertheless.
Lai is also being prosecuted on illegal assembly charges relating to anti-government protests last year. In August, the tycoon was also arrested on suspicion of breaching the national security law, although he has not been charged with an offence.
Last updated: 2020-09-18 HKT 09:27